Indian eves too good for Lankans

Indian eves too good for Lankans

Basketball Women's Asia Cup: Hosts enter quarters; Aussies down Japan

Indian eves too good for Lankans

Indian eves continued their bid for promotion to the top tier with a dominant 88-42 win over Sri Lanka in their second group phase game of the FIBA Asia Cup at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Tuesday.

Forward Grima Merlin Varghese’s game-high 20 points and skipper Anitha Paul Durai’s 13 points ensured India sauntered into the quarterfinals in Division B. For Lanka, Dapana scored nine points.

Grima and Anitha ran the show in the first quarter as India gained a 23-10 lead. The hosts further stretched their advantage by 17 points in the second to be firmly in control of the tie by half-time (40-13).

After the break, Poonam Chaturvedi, using her 6’11 height to good effect, kept Lankans at bay. Point guard Barkha Sonkar was brilliant in the middle, causing problems for the Lankans, who found it difficult to deal with her trickery. India went ahead 59-26 in the third quarter. It was only matter of time after that as the hosts romped to an easy win.

Australia top group

Earlier, favourites Australia downed reigning champions Japan 83-74 to claim top spot in Group B. Japan, whose 17-match winning streak in Asian competitions came to end, finished second.

Taking full advantage of her towering physical presence, the Opals’ skipper Marianna Tolo, who missed Monday’s game against Philippines due to a sore calf, dominated the paint, scoring 17 points and hauling eight rebounds.

Australia’s American import Kelsey Griffin too was on fire as she claimed 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds and made four assists. Guard Katie-Rae Ebzery was excellent from distance as she pocketed all her throws to score 11 points.

Asami Yoshida, Japan’s star player, strangely had a quiet game as Manami Fujioka took the centre-stage, starring with 18 points and 10 assists, while Yuki Miyazawa scored a game-high 19 points.

Fujioka’s stupendous show didn’t go unnoticed.

“Fujioka is playing great. I coached her in my club team (Jx-Eneos Sunflowers) last year since she graduated from college. I think she’s become more confident. Sky is the limit for her,” Japan head coach Tom Hovasse said at the post match briefing.

Meanwhile, China confirmed their top position in Group A with a 110-53 drubbing of North Korea.

Li Yueru (33 points) led the scoring for China while Gao Song (14), Sijing Huang (12) and Shi Xiufeng (12) also made valuable contributions.

For North Korea, Ro Suk Yong top-scored with 20 points and Ri Jong Ok added 11.
Earlier, New Zealand recorded a close 59-53 win over Chinese Taipei in the other Group A tie while Philippines went down 63-91 to South Korea in their last Group B encounter.

Results: Division A: Group A: New Zealand: 59 (Kalani Purcell 22, Jillian Harmon 15) bt Chinese Taipei: 53 (Hsi-Le Bao 12); China: 110 (Li Yueru 33, Gao Song 14, Sijing Huang 12, Shi Xiufeng 12) bt North Korea: 53 (Ro Suk Yong 20, Ri Jong Ok 11). 

Group B: Australia 83 (Marianna Tolo 17, Kelsey Griffin 16, Sara Blicavs 12, Katie-Rae Ebzery 11) bt Japan 74 (Yuki Miyazawa 19, Manami Fujioka 18, Yuka Osaki 10, Maki Takada 10); South Korea: 91 (Danbi Kim 19, Jisu Park 15, Yung Hui Lim 13, Han Byui Kim 11, Sim Sungyoung 10) bt Philippines: 63 (Allana Lim 14, Analyn Almazan 12, Janine Pontejos 10).

Division B: Group A: India: 88 (Grima Merlin Varghese 20, Anitha Paul Durai 13) vs Sri Lanka: 42 (Dapana Durage 9).

Group B: Kazakhstan: 71 (Oxana Ossipenko 21, Tamara Yagodkina 16, Nadezhda Kondrakova 13) bt Fiji: 48 (Bulou Koyamainavure 28); Lebanon: 74 (Nancy Maalouf, Chirine El Charif 15, Rebecca Akl 11) bt Singapore: 64 (Cheryl Poon 20, Jia Lim 12, Jayne Tan 11).

On Thursday: Quarterfinal line-up: Division A: China vs Philippines; New Zealand vs South Korea; Australia vs North Korea; Japan vs Chinese Taipei.

Division B: India vs Fiji; Uzbekistan vs Singapore; Sri Lanka vs Lebanon; Kazakhstan (bye to semifinals).

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